(1947 - 2013)
A great supporter to us, while and after the Ramones. A great person. Sadly missed.
1. Your date and place of birth:
> OCTOBER 13, BEFORE COLOR TELEVISION
2. What have you done professionally “before” the Ramones and why did
you move to NYC and “entered” the local Artists’ Scene? Was it hard to overlive
in the beginning, and what jobs do you had to do for?
> THE LAST THING I DID IN MEXICO BEFORE I MOVED TO NEW YORK WAS A
PRODUCTION (I WASN'T IN COLLEGE) OF TOMMY, THE WHO'S ROCK OPERA, I PLAYED
COUSIN KEVIN, DESIGNED THE COSTUMES AND CO-DIRECTED. ROCK WAS ALWAYS MY GUIDING
LIGHT, ALWAYS WENT FOR IT. I HAD BEEN IN SAN FRANCISCO IN THE 60'S
SUMMER OF LOVE AND
ALL, AND THE MONTEREY POP FESTIVAL, BUT NEW YORK WAS A MORE IMPORTANT ART CITY
SO I DECIDED TO MOVE HERE. MY FIRST JOB WAS AS A MESSENGER, I DID A LOT OF DISH
WASHING, I WAS ALWAYS OFFERED TO BE A WAITER BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO DEAL WITH
PEOPLE, MY FAVORITE JOB WAS AT AN ORANGE JULIUS, MAKING JUICE AND FLIPPING HAMBURGERS,
IT WAS ON 42ND ST. I WORKED THE NIGHT SHIFT, IN THOSE DAYS TIME'S SQUARE WAS
ALL ABOUT SEX, DRUGS AND CRIME, WE USED TO KEEP THE DEALERS STASH BEHIND THE
COUNTER, IT WAS VERY EXITING.
3. You’ve been a painter “before”, so how did it worked out with different
backgrounds in the Scene of the 70’s, Musicians, Artists, Writers?
> IT ALL HAPPENED IN A VERY NATURAL, ORGANIC WAY. I FOUND A LOFT IN
STILL LIVE HERE) AROUND THE CORNER OF CBGB BEFORE ANYTHING WAS HAPPENING THERE.
IT WAS A MATTER OF BEING IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME, AND I WASN'T THE
ONLY ONE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING EXITING TO DO, IT BECAME A
MOVEMENT BECAUSE THE AREA WAS FULL OF CREATIVE PEOPLE IN ALL AREAS OF THE ARTS,
CBGB BECAME THE CENTER OF IT ALL AND MY LOFT WAS RAMONES CENTRAL.
4. Whom, when and why of the Ramones did you met first?
> DEEDEE USED TO COME TO MY BUILDING TO SEE A GIRL THAT LIVED ABOVE ME, THE
YEAR WAS 1973, I WAS ALWAYS PAINTING DURING THE DAY LISTENING TO ARTIST LIKE
T-REX, LOU REED, BOWIE, IGGY. MY DOOR WAS ALWAYS OPEN SO ONE DAY HE CAME IN AND
SAID HE LIKED THAT KIND OF MUSIC TOO AND STARTED TALKING TO ME ABOUT HIS PLANS TO
GET A BAND TOGETHER WITH HIS FRIENDS FROM QUEENS, THEN IN MARCH OF 1974 HE INVITED
ME TO THEIR FIRST SHOW AT A PRIVATE PARTY, JOHNNY, JOEY AND DEEDEE WERE A TRIO.
5. How did it came you started working for them, on the Lightboard, that
you did the Shirts from early on and the Eagle-Logo, became their “Muse”?
> BY THE TIME THEY DID THEIR SECOND SHOW I WAS ALREADY WORKING WITH THEM, IT
WAS THEIR FIRST CBGB SHOW AND I WAS A "ROADIE" EVEN IF THE ROAD WAS
JUST A HALF A BLOCK WALK FROM THE LOFT. I HELPED SET UP TOMMY'S DRUMS, JOHNNY
AND DEEDEE JUST CARRIED THEIR OWN LITTLE AMPS THAT THEY PLACED ON CHAIRS. THERE
WERE ABOUT 16 PEOPLE IN THE ROOM. I STARTED DOING THE LIGHTS WHEN MORE PEOPLE
STARTED TO COME TO THE SHOWS. LATER ON I STARTED PRINTING THE
SHIRTS TO PAY FOR MY TRAVELING EXPENSES, SINCE THE RECORD COMPANY WAS FUNDING
ALL TRAVELING AND THEY WOULDN'T PAY FOR MINE. JOEY, DEEDEE AND MY SELF USED TO
PRINT THE T-SHIRTS AT THE LOFT, JOEY COULD REACH THE PIPES ON THE CEILING AND
HANG THEM TO DRY, THE SHIRTS SOLD REALLY WELL FROM THE BEGINNING AND BECAME THE
BAND'S PRINCIPAL SOURCE OF INCOME FOR YEARS.
6. You’ve been with the Ramones for all the 22 years and you missed only 2
shows. Would you tell us which shows and why you missed them?
> ONCE WE WERE GOING TO CANADA AND THEY DIDN'T LET ME CROSS THE BORDER
BECAUSE THE OFFICER DIDN'T LIKE THE IDENTIFICATION I WAS CARRYING, THAT WAS IN
THE 70'S. THE SECOND TIME I WAS IN A RENTED CAR WITH THE ROAD CREW, WE WERE
GOING TO START A TOUR IN BALTIMORE, THE COPS STOPPED US IN THE HIGHWAY AND
SEARCH THE CAR, SOME OF THE GUYS HAD SOME POT AND WE ALL WENT TO JAIL, AND I
MEAN JAIL, I WAS GIVEN MY ORANGE JUMP SUIT, BED SHITS, TOWEL, PILLOW AND TOILET
PAPER AND SPEND THE NIGHT IN A LARGE CELL WITH ABOUT 24 GUYS. WE CAME OUT THE
NEXT MORNING AFTER BREAKFAST WHICH WAS AWFUL.
Some more here- Arturo’s Questionnaire from end of
1993, originally released in the Loudmouth!-FanZine:
A- Do you miss the CBGB’s?
> I MISS IT BEING THERE, LIKE IF IT WAS A PERSON, A FRIEND EVEN A
RELATIVE YOU CAN NO LONGER SEE AND TALK TO.
B- Do you miss touring?
> I AM ALWAYS HAPPY WITH WHAT I AM DOING, I HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH I
HAVE ALWAYS DONE WHAT I WANT, BUT I LOVED TOURING, I LIKE TRAVELING.
C- Would you name yourself a fan of the Ramones’ Music?
> I WAS ALWAYS TOTALLY HOOKED ON THE LIVE SHOW, NEVER LIKED THE ALBUMS, JUST
DIDN'T COMPARED, THE RAMONES WERE A BAND TO EXPERIENCE LIVE.
D- Do you listen to them often?
> NOW I DO, BUT MOSTLY LIVE RECORDINGS, EXCEPT FOR JOEY'S SOLO ALBUM, I LOVE
EVERYTHING ABOUT IT
E- What was this “special thing” about the Ramones to you, the “thing”
that makes them unforgotten years after they quitted, years even after we
had the sad losses?
> THEIR MUSIC IS PURE AND ANGRY YOUNG ENERGY, THEY NEVER LOST THEIR
CREDIBILITY AS THE ULTIMATE UNDERDOG BAND THAT NEVER STOPPED FIGHTING FOR WHAT
THEY BELIEVED IN, NEVER COMPROMISED.
F- What’s your fave music today? And what are your all-time-Faves?
> MY FAVORITE BAND RIGHT NOW IS AGAINST ME, I
ALWAYS FIND GREAT BANDS AT THE WARPED TOUR, I SAW ANIMO THERE
TOO, THAT TOUR IS MY FAVORITE EVENT OF THE YEAR.
G- Will you ever work for a band again and come over here, like you did with
> MMMMMMMMM MAYBE WHO KNOWS
H- Would you agree: Living at the adress “Joey Ramone-Place” is to live at the
coolest adress in the world…
> YEAH IT FEELS THAT WAY TO ME.
I- How would you describe the pain while you became the large
Ramones-Tattoo on your back?
> IT WASN'T THAT BAD, I JUST KEPT THINKING, I WAS DOING SOMETHING RIGHT
MEMORIALIZING THE BEST WORK I HAVE EVER DONE FOR THE COOLEST BAND EVER, I KNEW
I WOULD LOOK GREAT, WE ALREADY KNOW THAT DESIGN "WORKS".